Photography / “Woden Valley – the Full Spectrum” by Graham Gall. At Lovett Tower, Woden Town Square, until November 17. Reviewed by CON BOEKEL.
THIS exhibition is the fourth in a series arising from residencies supported by the Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Woden Arts.
It marks a step change in Gall’s artistic development. Best known for his nature photography, Gall here branches out into architecture, landscape and into street photography. The change in pictorial focus is accompanied by a drastic change in photographic techniques.
Humans see only a limited part of the colour spectrum. We are blind to the longer wave lengths along the infrared part of the colour spectrum. Technology enables capture of the infrared colours and, through replacing the “invisible” colours with “visible” colours during post processing, enables us to get an idea of what we are missing out on.
Gall has had his camera sensor upgraded so that it can pick up the full spectrum of colours. He refines this further by using filters flexibly to exclude certain colours. In post processing he experiments with replacing one colour with another. Finally, also in post processing, he sometimes turns his colour images into black and white images.
“Woden Valley – the Full Spectrum” is exuberant. The viewer is swept along by Gall’s obvious delight as he explores new technical possibilities. He harnesses effects that include motion blurring in street photographs, intricate detail, sharp contrast, colour matching, and the full dynamic range from snowy whites to sooty blacks.
The overall result is a bit like walking through “Alice in Wonderland”. Everything seems normal. Nothing is quite what it seems. Everything is fresh and new again.
Robert Campbell’s printing of Gall’s images is top quality.
Humans have learned to “see” well past what nature intended. This exhibition plays its part in the massive growth in our technical sensing, imaging and learning capacities.
It is sobering that we are only just learning how to “see” like bees have been able to do all along. It is also exhilarating that we are “seeing” further and deeper than ever before.
The exhibition space is virtually a pop-up gallery made available by the grace of the building’s private-sector owner. It is a sad reminder that Woden is dreadfully short-changed when it comes to public community art facilities.
Gall will attend all opening hours of the exhibition. I heartily recommend a visit and a chat.
Who can be trusted?
In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.
If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.
Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep citynews.com.au strong and free.
Ian Meikle, editor